Monday, March 31, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Worship

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

 [Jesus says] “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem begins with cleansing the Temple during the Jewish Passover. Being the greatest Jewish feast, the city is crowded with pilgrims who have traveled far distances to worship. Charging extravagantly for sacrificial necessities, merchants and money-changers set up business in the outer courts of the Temple and exploit the worshipers. Their materialistic, for-profit intentions disrupt worship. With great force, Jesus drives the businesses out of the Temple. Acknowledging God’s holiness, Jesus defends the Temple as a place of worship.

In less than three years, Jesus will be arrested and crucified, but with His resurrection, Jesus offers a spiritual cleansing for the soul. After more than 2,000 years, God’s holiness still prevails despite the busyness of life. Jesus, feel the random hurry disturbing my weary soul, see the extravagant luxuries choking my truest needs, hear the shouting insecurities magnifying my deepest fears. Cleanse this temple! Count me alive in Christ. My heart sings never-ending praises for the Lamb of God! – dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ God Dwells Among Us

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

 “There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak—even the walk from
the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe that there is a God who speaks at all anywhere.
He speaks, I believe, and the words He speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of ourselves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys.”
Fredrick Buechner 

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

In the first chapter of John, Scripture describes the incarnation of the Word. Jesus, the Word, becomes human and dwells among us. Both fully God and fully human, Jesus enters the world as the visible manifestation of God, His perfect love in human form. This unique Father-Son relationship offers a glimpse of possibility for the Christian. Full of grace and truth, Jesus pitches His tent and takes up residence among the people.

Throughout all time, God has chosen to dwell in the midst His people, but when Jesus enters the world, both visible and tangible, God literally lives beside His people. Jesus is the Truth that brings Grace because He is the Perfect Sacrifice for all sins. Image of the Invisible God, this mystery of You coming to live among the people transcends intellectual thought. Perfect Love, You reveal the Light that darkness cannot cover and become the Grace that sin cannot destroy. Count me alive in Christ.  Be born in me! - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Expectation

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]



“Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching everywhere the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed people who had every kind of sickness and disease. News about Him spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that the sick were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were epileptics or were paralyzed – He healed them all. Large crowds followed Him wherever he went – people form Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, from all over Judea, and from east of the Jordan River. Matthew 4:23-25 NLT

The ministry of Jesus utilizes three main components: teaching and preaching and healing. These miracles of healing authenticate His teaching and preaching, and together emphasize the expectation Jesus has for wholeness of body and mind and soul. Enormous crowds follow Jesus and include Jews and Gentiles, Greeks and Romans, some curious and others convinced, doubters and dreamers carrying an atmosphere of excitement and expectation. Jesus, Prince of Peace, Immanuel, God with us shares the Good News with all who will listen.

Jesus desires to bring complete spiritual healing to all who will listen. So often our expectations focus on our own desires. God with us exceeds all expectation because we can barely define Grace. Jesus, forgive me when I follow You only with words or wishes. You desire to be Holiness and Healer and Hope, offering all for me. Count me alive in Christ. Be my place of expectation. - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Friday, March 28, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Assurance

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]


“You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 ESV

Jeremiah, a prophet who predicted the Babylonians would capture Judah, writes a letter to the captives exposing the false prophets. Telling the Jews to settle in their new home, build lives, pray for their captors and serve God where they are, for their captivity will be long. Initially with vanity but later with despair, the Jews laughed at God then later mourned their fate. Within Jeremiah’s letter is a favorite verse of many people: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you a future and hope. Jeremiah calls the people into a spirit of prayer, encourages them with hope, and reminds them to seek God, “with all your heart.”

As Jesus begins His ministry, many of those He encounters are in spiritual bondage, captive to disease, rejection, arrogance and pride. Held prisoner by false truths, Jesus brings healing and hope, forgiveness and freedom. Jesus calls us, too, “Seek Me with all your heart.” Blessed Assurance, unbind me from the chains that hold me hostage, the doubt that imprisons my success, the fear that feeds my insecurity, the darkness that steals my hope. Count me alive in Christ. Find me! I seek You with all my heart! -dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Approval

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]


 “After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with Him.’” 

At the baptism of Jesus, Scripture tells us that God is well pleased with His Son, the Spirit rests on Him. The Trinity stands together before us in these ancient words, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of His earthly ministry. With miracles of healing and teaching with authority, Jesus brings a new perspective to sin and forgiveness. Jesus comes to offer Grace. God approves! 

The Trinity, God in three persons, defies our finite intellect, but seeking approval is something most all desire. Too often we seek applause from the world instead of Jesus. Forgiveness Undeserved rescues us; Compassion Unmatched heals us. With unfailing Love, this mighty God calls us to be His children. Lord, my hunger for approval from the world magnifies my human weakness. Still, Grace stands before me willing and waiting, eager and endless, mending and mercy-full. There is holiness in Your presence. Count me alive in Christ. God approves! - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~

“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Surrender

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:28-35

Visitation by God’s angel, Jesus coming to dwell among humanity, and conception by the supernatural power of God exceeds common experiences. According to prophecy, the anticipated Messiah enters the world from David’s descendants. Jesus enters without royal fanfare. The mystery of the virgin birth cannot be explained scientifically; rather, by faith we can embrace this spiritually. Although Mary does not fully understand, she surrenders to God’s plan, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever He wants.

Enduring unexpected circumstances, trusting in God’s promises and the presence of the Holy Spirit giving life to wordless prayers can become our common experiences. Jesus comes to us. He reaches through difficulty and rises above uncertainty. The Holy One does not choose a royal crown; rather, He wears a crown of thorns. Son of God, Your kingdom will never end. You are majesty and mystery, glory and grace, worthy and willing, King of all kings. Count me alive in Christ. I surrender, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever You desire.” -dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place in History

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

“This is the record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of King David and Abraham:” Matthew 1:1 NLT

For centuries, prophets deliver the Lord’s decrees to prepare, instruct, discipline, and encourage the people of Israel. In times of disobedience, crisis, war, famine, captivity, and in times of celebration, peace and abundance, God’s presence dwells with to those who seek Him. Then, a period of 400 years of silence passes as the people continue to wait for the coming of the promised Messiah. In the decades leading up to the Messiah's birth, Rome controls Jerusalem, and its own Herod the Great rules Judah, while Cleopatra rules Egypt. Matthew’s record of the ancestors from Abraham to the Messiah reveals God’s Promise arrives through a diversity of peoples, generation by generation.


Some of the ancestors are heroes of faith while others are outcasts; some are simply ordinary people, and others leave a trail of sinfulness. God is not limited by time or place, race or gender, nor is His work limited by human frailty. He is a God of forgiveness and new beginnings. God calls each of us to be a part of His Master Plan. God, sometimes I must wait through the seemingly endless silence. When I want to rush ahead, give me patience to endure, faith to trust, and wisdom to listen. Count me alive in Christ. Give this ordinary person extraordinary possibilities. -dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Monday, March 24, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Places of Blessings

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]




“And how blessed all those in whom You live, whose lives become roads You travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! Psalm 84:5-6 MSG

This Psalm begins, “How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD!” Immediately we sense beauty and peace in the presence of God. In reading Psalm 84, the calm without chaos reveals the world’s busyness; the joy inside the praises draws us into His presence. Our spirits find blessing after blessing as we linger, as we pray, as we worship the Living God.


Our journey with Jesus is a pilgrimage that takes us to mountain tops of joy, through valleys of sorrow, around and through unmapped territory that challenges our faith. Experiences chase us through lush forests into barren deserts where joy meets sorrow, laughter greets tears, and celebrations complete difficulties. Along all these paths, we always discover places of blessing when God abides with us. Lord, Your Glory lights my path. Whether I feel as if I am drowning or dodging, dancing or drifting, how lovely are Your dwelling places! Count me alive in Christ. Traveling with You, I go from strength to strength. - dho

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ 3rd Sunday in Lent ~ God's Abiding Presence, Shekinah Glory

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.  Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

The deepest longing of the human heart and the deepest
meaning of heaven and earth are summed up in this; the glory of God.
John Piper

[LORD says] “Take courage … and work, for I am with you. As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, ‘My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ … in a little while I am going to shake the heavens and the earth… The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former, and in this place I will give peace.” Haggai 2:4-9 NASB

Shekinah, a Hebrew word meaning dwelling, describes God’s visible presence in the world. Reference to God’s Glory, or His dwelling place, merge with such physical manifestations as a burning bush, a pillar of cloud, a pillar of fire, the Ark of the Covenant, the Tent of Meeting, the Tabernacle, the Mercy Seat, the Most Holy Place. To fulfill His plan to dwell with the people becomes the primary purpose of the Temple in the Old Testament. Despite God’s protection and blessings for Israel, their repeated disobedience creates destruction, and only emptiness remains when the glory of God departs the Temple. Shekinah Glory emphasizes God’s plan to dwell among His people and defines the intimate relationship God desires with us.

After King Solomon dies in 931 BC, the United Kingdom of Israel is divided into the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah). Prophets warn of destruction without obedience to the one true God. The Assyrians conquer Israel, and Babylon will take the people of Judah into captivity, destroying Jerusalem and the Temple in 586 BC. After 70 years, the Jews begin their return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.  Prophets encourage the people to focus on God. Working through His people, God says, “Take courage … and work, for I am with you,” but this time He offers a future glory that will be greater. The Messiah will become Shekinah glory, God’s visible presence in the world. God of Glory, find me wordless of such unimagined generosity and undeserved grace.  Count me alive in Christ. Let Your presence dwell within me. - dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Abundance

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

"The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what He tells you. And that's it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it's good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 MSG

Because God answers Solomon's prayer for wisdom, people far and wide seek his wisdom, each bringing gifts of gold, silver, jewels, spices, chariots, horses, and more, year after year. This is an era of extraordinary abundance. King Solomon surpasses all the kings of the earth in wisdom and wealth. His vast inventory is full of gifts from merchants and explorers, kings and queens and governors of surrounding countries. Despite God's enormous blessings, in later life Solomon, in disobedience, also loves many foreign women, builds altars for their idols, and offers sacrifices to the false gods.

Most Bible scholars credit Solomon with writing Ecclesiastes, a book that examines the meaning of life. Likely a series of reflections toward the end of his life, Solomon shares his understanding of life based on his myriad of experiences; he creates a roadmap for others searching for meaning in the world. His final conclusion is simple: Honor God and obey Him. Creator of all, I search the alleys and highways, the valleys and mountain tops for MORE! In times of boredom and celebration, emptiness and abundance, I constantly seek to satisfy the deepest place within my soul. Count me alive in Christ. Jesus is True Abundance. ~dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Friday, March 21, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Prayer

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place.
Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]



"Now the LORD has fulfilled His promise that He made. For I have risen in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 1 Kings 8:20 ESV

In Solomon's Prayer to dedicate the Temple, he proclaims that there is no other God, reminding Israel to walk in obedience with the one true God. Solomon exalts God's faithfulness, acknowledging He is without limits, both near and far, present and infinite. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house that I have built! Solomon's words demonstrate his understanding that God's presence is not just in the Temple; God chooses to dwell among His people.

Giving a variety of concerns the people can bring to God, Solomon dedicates the Temple to be a place of prayer, a place that God's invisible presence dwells as He listens to the prayers of His people, a place where God's name is to be honored. God relentlessly loves His people. Infinite God, my prayers rise like incense. You hear them wherever I am when I shout in frustration, tremble in fear, groan in desperation, whisper in doubt, argue in rebellion, weep in regret. Count me alive in Christ. Hear the prayers of all who call on the name of the true God. ~ dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Glory

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]



"[the LORD said] 'I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel'... [Solomon] was seven years in building [the Temple].'

Beginning in Solomon's fourth year as king, God tasks Solomon with building the Temple. The Temple takes seven years to complete. With no expenses spared, the Temple rests on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem, a city that becomes the center of religious and civil decisions. Consisting of an outer court, the holy place and the Most Holy Place, the Temple holds the silver, gold and vessels dedicated by David. A vast storehouse for the treasuries, The Temple is built to the Glory of God.

Lastly, the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD is put in place in the Most Holy Place. When the priests come out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD... for the glory of the LORD filled this place. The cloud represents God's presence with His people. After the resurrection of Christ, the Holy Spirit becomes His presence within each believer. God, generation after generation, You dwell among Your children. You are the Keeper of Promises. Let my efforts nourish the hungry, empower the helpless, encourage the broken, and listen to the whispers of those society ignores. Count me alive in Christ. May the Glory always be Yours! ~dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Repentance

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

"My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; You will not reject a humble and repentant heart.” Psalm 51:17 GNT

David, a poet, musician, shepherd, soldier and king, is brave, humble, obedient, and faithful to God. Scripture gives examples where David tells lies, commits adultery, and sanctions murder. Above all, David is chosen and beloved by God. Sin always creates a chasm between man and God. For David this is also true; however, there is no sin that exceeds God’s forgiveness.

David’s repentant heart cries out to God, “For I recognize my shameful deeds – they haunt me day and night.” Sin not only creates irreversible consequences but interrupts our intimate relationship with God. Repentance recognizes the sin and gives voice to the heart’s desire to change. God hears the repentant heart! Holy God, I wait among my brokenness, my disillusionment, my recklessness, my impulsiveness, my rebellion. In my confession, I recognize I fractured our relationship. Forgive me! Let me try again. Count me alive in Christ. Renew my joy in Your Presence. ~dho 

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Confession

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2       
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

“So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: 2 Samuel 12:1-14 NLT

Nathan, the prophet for King David, tells him a story. Assuming it true, David becomes outraged at the betrayer in this story, says the man deserves to die! Nathan’s replies, “You are that man!” He speaks God’s message of anointing and protecting and empowering David, and reveals the consequences of David’s destructive choices. David then confesses, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

God forgives David of his sins of adultery and murder, his arrogance and insensitivity, but God also allows the irreversible consequences of David’s behavior. Still, God has more for David to accomplish. With David’s confession and repentance comes God’s forgiveness. Often the hardest sin to recognize is our own. How good that God gives us faithful friends to help us recognize the truth about our choices! How generous is God’s forgiveness! Faithful Father, I must disappoint You with my casual indifference, my cruel remarks, my carnal interests, my caustic judgments. In these moments I ignore, betray, and destroy relationships with others and with You. I create irreversible consequences. Count me alive in Christ. I confess my sins, and You offer me forgiveness. ~dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Monday, March 17, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ Place of Perspective

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

“Then David went into the Tabernacle and sat before the Lord and prayed. ‘O Lord God, why have you showered Your blessings on such an insignificant person as I am? And now, in addition to everything else, You speak of giving me an eternal dynasty! Such generosity is far beyond any human standard!’” 2 Samuel 7:18-29 TLB

After David hears God’s kingdom plans, he goes into the Tabernacle to offer prayer and praises. Spending time with God, David opens his heart praising God’s greatness, goodness, and generosity, thanking God for his extraordinary power, purpose and promise. In this prayer, David declares God’s blessings from choosing the people of Israel as His own to God’s promise of a forever kingdom. David does not completely understand how God’s promise will unfold, but he trusts that the blessings and promises of God have a greater purpose that will endure.

In God’s presence, David pours out his heart with gratitude and humility. He speaks with reverence about the Sovereignty and faithfulness of God. David accepts God’s purpose despite God saying no to his own desire to build a Temple. When we go into the presence of God, let us pray with trusting hearts. Sovereign Lord, there is a sweetness in Your presence. How good it is to rest with Your promises. Hallelujahs for Grace overflow my soul! When I long for better, You continue to offer me best! Count me alive in Christ. May Your desires be mine. ~dho

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Preparing for Easter ~ 2nd Sunday in Lent ~ God's Presence Beyond the Tabernacle

[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting  Psalm 90:1-2  

During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]

The soul’s deepest thirst is for God Himself,
Who has made us so that we can never be satisfied without Him.
F.F. Bruce

The LORD said, “You shall not build Me a house to dwell in. For I have not dwelt in a house since the time I brought up Israel, even to this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. . . And I have been with you wherever you have gone.” 1 Chronicles 17:4-14 NKJV

The LORD says about David, “You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be their leader.” David makes a covenant with the leaders before God and is anointed king of Israel. After conquering the Philistines, the Ark of the Covenant is rescued and placed inside the special tent that David had prepared for it. David considers his lavish home and is greatly concerned about God dwelling in a tent! David desires to build God an appropriate dwelling place.

God doesn't want David to build a temple. God’s plan for David is to lead Israel, to conquer all its enemies, and develop unity among the people. God does not desire a warrior to build the Temple. His long term plan exceeds David’s vision: I will build a house for you – a dynasty of kings! Centuries later, Jesus, the Messiah, a direct descendant in David’s lineage, fulfills God’s promise, “I will establish Him in My House and in My kingdom forever.”  Crucified and risen, Christ reigns over this forever kingdom, now in heaven and later on earth. King of kings, I need You to be with me wherever I go. Your dwelling place far exceeds my grandest imagination, expands far beyond the walls of any Tabernacle, extends unmeasured grace and unfailing love, enlarges Your spiritual kingdom. Count me alive in Christ. Open my eyes to more. ~dho  

All rights reserved ~ used with permission of the author
Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
Breathing Room For My Soul (blog) Follow on Twitter @soulchat

For more information about this ministry visit ~
“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”